Zimbabwe: Athletes Excited By Achievements

Senior Sports Reporter

A WEEK ago, before he departed for the 12th Fazza Championships World Para Athletics Grand Prix, Zimbabwe’s T20 runner, Albert Singele, vowed to emulate his hero Elliot Mujaji.

And yesterday, the Chinhoyi-based athlete, returned home from his first international meet with three medals, a Paralympic Games qualification, and a new African record in the 1 500m.

The 23-year-old will represent Zimbabwe at the Tokyo Games in the T20 1 500m men.

This is the first time the Zimbabwe National Paralympic Committee will have athletes, going to the Games, on a qualification basis.

Previously, they would either get a universal wild card or a bipartite entry.

“I am so excited. Before I left, I had promised that I wanted to do well given that, when I was up, I was motivated by Elliot Mujaji’s exploits.

“I am even looking forward to breaking another record at the Paralympics.

“I am so happy to qualify for Tokyo, I feel it is a big platform to showcase my talent.

“For me, August is very far, I am ready to compete.

“I will continue to work hard, with my coaches, who have always been assisting me, that is, coach Kudakwashe Mhondiwa and coach (Mildred) Baye.

“They have been supportive.

“The competition in Dubai was very tough, it was a big competition but I was determined, and motivated, to do well.”

Vimbai Zvinowanda, who also qualified for the Paralympic Games, said she was thrilled by her achievements.

The Zvishavane-based athlete qualified for the Summer Games.

In the 100m, she came overall fifth but picked up bronze in the 200m.

“I am so excited. I wasn’t expecting it, the competition was tough, and coming from Africa I was not even expecting it.

“I am so thrilled that I cannot even describe the feeling.

“I wasn’t even expecting it. Due to the Covid-19 difficulties, the training was not that good, but I thank God for everything, as well as our coaches.

“I would like to thank them for encouraging us and working with us,” said Zvinowanda.

Pamela Vimbai Shumba, who also qualified for the Tokyo Games, has appealed for the Government for more financial support.

“I am so happy to raise high the flag of Zimbabwe. We were competing with seasoned runners, from developed countries, but we even managed to beat some of them.

“I am appealing to the Government, to avail some funds, to pay for our personal coaches, and other resources to prepare well for the Games, since we are based in different places,” said Shumba.

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